Julius Randle, an All-Star forward for the New York Knicks, is dealing with a sprained left ankle and is doubtful for the beginning of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat on Sunday. However, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is optimistic that Randle will be ready for Game 1 on Sunday.
After Friday’s practice, Head Coach Tom Thibodeau said, “He didn’t do much today, but he’s feeling a little bit better.” “So check in with the rehabilitation center and see how he is doing [on Saturday].” Most importantly, he is doing much better now than on Thursday. Therefore, we are optimistic.
The first injury to Randle’s ankle occurred during a victory against the Heat on March 29, and he was sidelined for the rest of the regular season. He could play in the opening game of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he had difficulty getting into any rhythm after his absence. According to Thibodeau, even though Randle could not participate in Friday’s practice fully, he could still put in some effort.
Randle was taken out of the game for the last quarter of the Knicks’ victory over the Cavaliers in Game 4 last Sunday. He entered Game 5, having shot 21 for 65 during the series. Randle looked to be getting back on track until he twisted his ankle again in Game 5. During that game, he scored 13 points, dished out six assists, and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes. Thibodeau confirmed after Game 4 that Randle was still playing with discomfort in his ankle.
The good news for the Knicks is that swingman Quentin Grimes is expected to be ready for Game 1 on Sunday. Grimes had been out the previous week due to a shoulder injury he sustained in Game 3 of the series against the Cavaliers. Grimes said that he had an MRI performed on him after the injury but that he is certain that he will be able to return to the court after some rest and rehabilitation.
“That’s the plan,” Grimes said. If I go through practice on Saturday and it feels as well as it did today, then that will be the plan.
Thibodeau, an assistant on Jeff Van Gundy’s Knicks staff in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the Knicks-Heat rivalry was first ignited, is looking forward to seeing the two clubs square off against each other once again.
Thibodeau said that it was a wonderful thing. “The players are too young; it’s possible that some of them haven’t even been born yet. ” But for the more experienced citizens who have lived through it all, not only is it an interesting piece of history, but it’s also a lot of fun. This is the place for you if you like a healthy dose of rivalry.